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Rwandan genocide: UN chief warns against rising xenophobia, intolerance

United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, has warned of the “dangerous trends of rising xenophobia, racism and intolerance” 25 years after the Rwandan genocide that killed about one million people.

Guterres gave the warning in a message to commemorate the 25-year anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi, during which Hutu and others who opposed the genocide were also killed.

The UN chief expressed worry that 25 years after the unfortunate incident, the dangerous trends of rising xenophobia, racism and intolerance had still continued unabated in many parts of the world.

April 7 marks the start of the 1994 genocide, which saw estimated one million Tutsis, moderate Hutu and others who opposed the genocide, systematically killed in less than three months.

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Guterres said that the anniversary was an opportunity to honour those who were murdered, and reflect on the suffering and resilience of those who survived.

Guterres urged peoples and countries to work together to build a harmonious future for all.

The UN Secretary-General called on all political, religious and civil society leaders to reject hate speech and discrimination.

He described hate speech and discrimination as an affront to our values, and threats to human rights, social stability and peace.

The UN scribe urged leaders to “work vigorously to address and mitigate the root causes that undermine social cohesion, and create conditions for hatred and intolerance”.

The United Nations is commemorating the International Day of Reflection on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda with events around the world.

These include a memorial ceremony at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, and an event at the General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters in New York.

The event was organised in collaboration with the Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the United Nations. (NAN)